Thursday, July 17, 2008

Beyond The Walls

When I was a kid I was scared all of the time. I'm not kidding. All the time! Everything around me seemed frightening. I was so self conscience that I put up hundreds of barriers (in my mind) to keep me from changing and growing and exploring the things that would help me. As a boy I was convinced that I was dumb, weak & ugly. I walked around with that in my head 24/7. The one thing I had, was a sense of humor. Silliness saved my life. It was the one thing I could count on when things were looking bleak. 

Getting laughs helped me get by, but my brain and and heart were telling me that there was more to life. In my 20s I had the wherewithal to seek betterment for myself. At that time I was always stuck, lost (dazed) and confused. I hated it! In my stuckness I would try to figure things out alone. Without help. What an amazing waist of time. My intentions were so good, yet my results were so lousy. I would tell myself to be more positive, but I didn't know how to find the tools that could make that happen.

Thank God for self help books. The first one I ever read was Dr. Wayne Dyer's "Looking Out For Number 1". The book didn't change my life forever, but it did allow me to look at things in a new way. It gave me a new perpective to see beyond the walls I had created in my life. It was one tier on a long ladder to help me scale some of those walls.

This web site with it's message boards, chat rooms, WOWY, coaches threads and MyBeachbody are here as a support system to help you move beyond the walls that keep you from your life. You change, grow & learn every time you eat better than before. Every time you push play. Every time you listen to someone who asks for your help. Every time you look for help. 
~See Beyond The Walls In Front Of You ~ Bruce Springsteen


Christopher said...

Nothing could be more of the truth. I used to be the same way, always wanting to do things on my own. Although, I was a big reader and so my solution to things was to research and come to conclusions that way. I never thought about asking for help or getting help. In a way, I'm still like that. If someone tells me I can't do something, it makes me want to do it twice as much. Even when I knew someone was using that tactic to get me to do something, I generally fell for it.

Actually, what helped to change my mind was a comic book believe it or not. I was a huge fan of the X-Men and particularly, Wolverine who everyone knows now. But when he first came on to the comic book scene, he was this loner guy who did everything on his own. They do a good job in the movie of portraying that. During story lines, they showed his character develop as one who really needed to learn to depend on others for help, even when he didn't think he needed it. As a youth, that really struck a chord with me.

Later in my life, I read, "Awaken The Giant Within" by Tony Robbins (too many Tonys in my life, my best friend is named Tony) and also read the histories and biorgraphies of famous historical figures. My favorite would still have to be George Marshall, Chief of the Army during World War II. Talk about a guy who had a grip on life and how to live. These books, do and still do teach me about life and how to live.

Also, reading books on Zen, Taoism, Eastern and Western philosophy gave me deep introspection on people and how to view life in a natural and connective way. Philosophical discussions were a way of life with myself and my friends as we worked out in martial arts or drinking beer, smoking cigars and playing chess. Those were the good old days.

Finally, I listened out of curiosity, Tony Robbins tapes on Personal Power and Getting the Edge. Amazingly good material, he also is the real deal in my opinion. Confirmed things I already was doing and taught me new things. And here of course allows us all to share our thoughts so another Tony in my life to introspect and share ideas.

Nowadays, I still do some of that stuff but leading a healthier lifestyle. No beer and cigars (well, when my college friends and I get together once a year) but a strict regimen of working out and eating right. I can't say that either of those lifestyles were "bad", just different.

At the bottom of my emails, I have this quote:

"So live that your life may be a poem. Arrange things that
they look like they are in a painting." -- Chang Chao

Because that is how life should be lived, with each other and with yourself. There is nothing wrong with solving your own problems, we just can't be afraid to ALLOW others to help us. That is actually a gift, to allow someone to help you. By denying that gift, you deny someone the good feelings of helping out. I had to learn that a long time ago.

I arrange my life now in such a way that I enjoy and cherish every second. Even on my "do nothing" days where I enjoy doing nothing but looking at trees, nature, and the great things around me to soak it all in and I enjoy the days that I'm busy, getting things done, working out, sharing with my family. I take notice of it all.

"See Beyond The Walls In Front Of You", BUT, ALSO, ask yourself, "Are you WASTING time? or SPENDING time?" Did you meet with someone because they are going to provide value to the time that you have, or did you meet with someone to appease them?" Cause once that time is gone, it can never be returned. Use the time we have to SPEND it and help one another.

This soapbox moment brought to you by:

Christopher Ortega

Eric Whitmore said...

Good post, Tony.

I have been through the wringer myself with some anxiety and sleeplessness lately and I have also found that some of the major reasons why stress hits me so hard is because of the way I an constantly negativelt talking to myself.

Not talking out loud, but the inner dialogue that harangues about missed opportunities, things I have to do to be happy and everything that I am not up until this point.

I realize more and more that we can change this negative self-image not only by taking responsibility of our physical body (yeahhhh P90X!), but we also need to relearn how to be more positive to ourselves and others around us.

I am not going to go into much detail on how I do this, but Tony hits the mark with trying to improve ourselves through reading and doing.

I am happy to be involved with a program that has a leader that feels much of the same way I did as a kid but ultimately knows that we are not stuck with who we were, we can make the new us through positive thought and action.

nick c said...


"Sometimes you put walls up not to keep people out, but to see who cares enough to break them down.” That quote right there described my youth. A vicious cycle of self-serving sabotage that fed on false fears toward anything and anybody. Yeah, just like you, my greatest fear was the fear of change. Instead of taking responsibility for my own improvement, I relied on the constant stream of subjective opinions from friends, family and even strangers. What does he think? She think? They think? It thinks?:) But when it came to what do I really think, man, I ran for the hills, double time! The pain was too intense, and I loved to let it grow inside of me like some kind of huge amoeba kinda thing!!

Now, back in 2000, I weighed 235 lbs. and could bench 300 plus...Dude, I thought I was all that, and then I pressed play for the first time with you and P90. Well, I quickly discovered that I was not all "that." That "skinny" guy on TV kicked my butt, and then some!! How could that be? It was then that I realized that I had to allow difference and variety to enter my life. Slowly but surely my body changed, my mind changed, my spirit changed, everything! Today I'm finally breaking down my own walls with confidence, energy and enthusiasm, thanks in part to you, buddy! Some days are harder than others, but I know I'm always moving forward.

Thanks again,


P.S. Enjoy yourself over there in Vegas! Knock 'em out!

Anonymous said...

Normally I just "lurk" as I enjoy the conversations and let them stew in my mind for a while. This time I'd like to add one more thing that is definitely an undercurrent in most of the things I read here, though not stated explicitly. The concept of forgiveness, whether it's phrased as "be patient with yourself" or "accept that other people are at a different stage than you", the ability to forgive others (who may have helped build those walls for a reason) or yourself (for keeping those walls there for so long) is a fine art. It's also the natural result of accepting responsibility, letting go, and moving on to enjoy the life that was always wanted, but never yet pursued.

Things that make me go hmmmmmmmmm. :)

pkayfit said...

Well, Tony I have to say Thank You for learning how to break through those walls. You have really inspired me and I love your sense of humor. I love people that can live life with a sense of humor, I am learning everyday through my daily spiritual walk that to always encourage myself everyday and always look for the good in things and in people. I was always told in my early days in life after adoption that I did things half a**. That I would never account for much. I strive everyday to prove that person wrong. Then I think why I am doing that, I need to be Okay with myself. It is me that is going to make something of myself. Now, I still have that motivation in the back of my mind. I still lack self-confidence but I try to improve on a daily basis and it is through the journey of life that I find myself and what I am really made of. I have found that I actually do like myself. A work of art in progress.

larrythecat said...

WOW, Tony, sounds like me when I was a kid. I also read a Wayne Dyer book that was very inspirational about the same time you did. Now, just turning 53 I just started P90X last week. I have been a workout/running junkie all my life, and thought I was in pretty good shape. HA! After seeing an ad for P90X, it all made sense and I took the plunge. I'm in week 2 an have already dropped 8 lbs and was only at 162 to begin with!! Thanks for your humor on the DVD's, it keeps me going and looking forward to tomorrow's workout!

Dean Buys said...

Tony, I really enjoyed the post.

After reading for a moment, I thought we were the same guy.

I grew up in the Bay Area,& loved to ski Heavenly & Squaw Valley, & relied heavily on my sense of humor to get me by through my adolescent years.

It's amazing to me how much time was wasted when we limited ourselves, by "shutting ourselves off" for the mere fact of not wanting to be rejected by our peers, & those who perhaps should have made us feel more important.

I am extremely grateful that through life's experiences, we finally realize just how important we really are in this world. We really can make a difference in others lives & sometimes not even know it.

I love to read books on PMA (positive mental attitude). Authors such as Napolean Hill (The Law Of Success In 16-Lessons), Dale Carnegie etc., have really inspired me. I also appreciate Wayne Dyer for his work.

For many years I have been keenly aware of my physical fitness. But, it was not until April of this year when I was introduced to P90X that I experienced the vision of what "true" physical fitness is. I am a graduate of P90X now, and am in my second round on "Bringing-it" with P90X, P90X+, & I am impatiently waiting for 1on1 to arrive so that I can bring it with you in your own home gym.

Thanks for being such an inspiration to me Tony. We're all brothers in this great-big wide world of ours. Take care my brother & friend.